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Michelle Obama, Ann Romney get positive ratings after conventions

Ann Romney and  Michelle Obama
Ann Romney, wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, left and US First Lady Michelle Obama Getty Images

(CBS News) After delivering well-received speeches at their respective political parties' national conventions, both First Lady Michelle Obama and Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, have favorable public opinion ratings, according to a new CBS News/ New York Times poll.

Mrs. Obama now holds a 61 percent favorability rating among registered voters, according to the poll, conducted Sept. 8-12. Another 19 percent have an unfavorable view of her, and 19 percent are undecided or don't know enough about her to have an opinion.

This is the highest rating the first lady has received since April 2009. Mrs. Obama spoke on the first night of the Democratic National Convention, on Sept. 4.

Ann Romney spoke on the first full night of the Republican National Convention, on Aug. 28. As many as 53 percent of registered voters are still undecided about her or don't know enough about her to have an opinion. Among those who do have an opinion, 32 percent have a favorable view, and 13 percent have an unfavorable view.

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Men and women hold net positive views of both Mrs. Obama and Romney. While each woman is more popular with her own political party, independents hold more favorable than unfavorable opinions of both of them.

Former President Bill Clinton, meanwhile, is viewed even more positively than either of them. He delivered a very well-received speech on the second night of the Democratic convention.

As many as 66 percent of registered voters have a favorable opinion of Mr. Clinton, compared to just 25 percent who view him unfavorably - the highest rating he has received since CBS News first asked the question in 1987. Back then, nine in 10 voters were undecided or didn't know enough about Bill Clinton to offer an opinion.

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This poll was conducted by telephone from September 8-12, 2012 among 1,301 adults nationwide, including 1,170 registered voters. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample, the sample of registered voters, and the sample of likely voters could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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